Descend the staircases of Transylvania, wander through ancient lanes in Brasov, and look over churches and spires from the Bucegi Mountains.
Their cobbled lanes are useless for cars, their castles have terrible insulation, and their Baroque buildings cost a fortune to maintain. But, on this adventure, you discover that the beauty of these Eastern European features outweighs the impracticalities. You descend tiny history-soaked staircases in the fortresses of Transylvania, wander through ancient lanes crammed with bars and books in Brasov, and look over churches and spires from the ridges of the Bucegi Mountains. Find out that being beautiful is more important than being useful on this trip through Eastern Europe’s historic wonders.
We spend 8 days exploring Hungary, Romania. We visit Budapest, Bucharest, Debrecen, Eger, Cluj-Napoca, Salina Turda, Brașov, Sighisoara.
What Is Included...
Twin share hotel accommodation
Entrance to Bran fortress and Rasnov fortress
Salina Turda salt mine
Eastern Highlights Starts at 2:00pm at Hotel Zugló, Budapest
The Tour Ends at 10:00am at Ibis Parliament Bucharest, Bucharest
When We Go
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8 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Budapest
Your adventure begins bright and early in the stunning Hungarian capital, Budapest. Your fantastic Busabout guide will take you on an orientation walk to help familiarise you with your new surroundings and the numerous sights, including the neo-Gothic parliament building, and magical Castle District. In the afternoon you depart for Old Buda Island and your first entry into one of Europe’s biggest and best music festivals: Sziget. Spend the rest of the day soaking up the festival atmosphere with your fellow revellers. This is only the first night so pace yourself, Sziget has much to give and you will want to experience it all!
Day 2: Budapest to Eger to Debrecen
This morning we depart on our scenic eastern meander to Debrecen. We have two stops en route, beginning in the ancient town of Eger. Founded in the 10th century Eger sprung into life when St. Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary, constructed the first cathedral. Have a lovely local lunch and wine tasting while enjoying the views of Szepasszony Valley. As we continue on we have a photo stop in Hortobagy National Park at the Nine-Holed Bridge, the longest stone bridge in Hungary. Take some snaps and hear of the local mythology surrounding this impressive structure! We arrive in Hungary’s second biggest city later this afternoon. Explore this cultural hub and former capital at your leisure and join us later to revel in the city’s eclectic nightlife.
Day 3: Debrecen to Cluj
We continue our journey to the Romanian border and our destination, the unofficial Transylvanian capital, Cluj. We arrive this afternoon and after checking into our accommodation we have an exploratory walk of the city. Walk through the central park and enjoy the scenery as we make our way over the Somesul Mic River and continue to St. Michael's Church to see the statue of Matthias Corvinus out front followed by the neo-baroque national theatre. This evening experience the vibrant nightlife of this bustling student city.
Day 4: Cluj to Sighisoara to Brasov
We say goodbye to Cluj this morning and begin our journey to Brasov with two stops en route. We arrive at our first stop, the Salina Turda, after a short drive for an included excursion into the ancient salt mines and its many cavernous rooms, even containing a theme park, deep below the surface. We then make our way to our lunch stop, and the birthplace of Dracula, Sighisoara. Renowned for its architecture, many towers and ancient churches, it is also the town where Vlad Dracul lived in exile and consequently the location of his son’s birth. Visit the citadel and grab a bite to eat before our afternoon departure. We arrive in the city of Brasov this evening and check into our accommodations before having some time to explore. Join us this evening to enjoy the relaxed vibe of Brasov’s nightlife.
Day 5: Brasov
Delve the depths of a city awash with historic buildings, such as the Gothic splendour of the Black Church, or check out some of the local bars and cafes and grab some lunch and a few drinks. Take a hike or the funicular and head up Tampa Hill for some breathtaking sights of the city and surrounding wilderness. Tonight we head out to party on the town in the heart of Transylvania.
Day 6: Brasov to Bucharest
Be prepared for a day of fantasy as we castle hop through the countryside en route to Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. Our first stop is at the famous Bran Castle, which is believed to have been the inspiration for the fictional Dracula’s castle. Next we arrive at the sprawling complex of the Rasnov Citadel. This 13th century Dacian Fortress, standing proud above the surrounding woods, was occupied during times of strife and converted from a fortification to a dwelling over the years. Our final castle for the day, the picturesque Peles Castle, was built for the Romanian King Carol I in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains. We arrive in the capital this evening and after check-in we have an exploratory walk of the city followed by a delectable included dinner before a night of free time to enjoy Bucharest’s eclectic nightlife.
Day 7: Bucharest
Spend the day losing yourself in the rich historical and cultural depth of Romania’s economic heartland. See the gargantuan Palace of the Parliament which is the world's largest administrative building, explore the small streets of Bucharest’s central Old Town and take note of the many exciting nightlife spots you’d like to visit this evening, relax in one of Bucharest’s many lush public parks, or visit the beautifully adorned Arcul de Triumf. Tonight we head out into the night for some authentic Romanian revelry.
Day 8: Bucharest
We check out after breakfast. Hope you had a great time exploring the East with us!
This tour connects with the following trips
All of our tours are designed to link to each other. The Eastern Highlights connects to these great trips.